The call of the aliens is long overdue


IN QUEST FOR THE THIRD KIND (5/6) – American astronomer Frank Drake devised an equation to determine the probability that a galactic civilization will be able to communicate with Earth. An equation with many unknowns.

Little grays and green fellows ignite our imaginations. But the search for extraterrestrial life is also a very serious science that mobilizes the largest space agencies. How to look for life elsewhere than on Earth? Is the presence of water essential? And if an intelligence arose from the stars, could we communicate with it? “Le Figaro” sets out in search of the third type.

In 1950, during an informal discussion at the Los Alamos laboratory in the United States, the Italian physicist Enrico Fermi (Nobel Prize winner and one of the fathers of the American atomic bomb) was surprised that we had never yet seen from alien.

Faced with several colleagues in the canteen, he would have made the following reasoning: given the considerable number of stars in the galaxy, the number of associated potential habitable worlds, the rate of technological evolution of humanity and the age of the universe (more than 13.5 billion years old), several extraterrestrial civilizations would already have

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